Friday October 10, 2003
For the last thirty years, the Austrian KTM brand has been known for outstanding dirt bikes. Light weight, usable power and fantastic suspension were the hallmarks of the brand which has won numerous motocross and enduro titles across the world over the last 30 years.
In 1995 when the company acquired the Dutch Whitepower suspension manufacturers and the Swedish Husaberg dirt bike manufacturer it would have been reasonable to expect the company would concentrate on its heritage and continue to produce and refine some of the world's best off-road machinery.
But two years later it produced its first serious roadgoing motorcycle, the LC4 Supermoto a 640cc using its own engine and for several years we have been seeing sneak previews of a new 1000cc v-twin roadster.
The roadster has now broken public cover at the recent Milan motorcycle show and is powered by a 75 degree, fuel-injected v-twin and not surprisingly, it has exactly the same brand values as the dirt bikes which built the KTM name - light weight and usable power - the minimalist approach.
The motor is 20% lighter than anything else in its class, and the 122bhp maximum power of the beastie is not representative of the bike's power delivery - the torque curve is nearly linear, meaning that power will be extremely usable - light, rigid, with a very low seat-height and gobs of useable torque. can't wait.
The bikes are planned for release in 2004.
The Australian KTM distributor can be found at www.ktm.com.au.